Women’s Hockey Preview: @ North Dakota

The Matchup: No. 7/8 Wisconsin vs. North Dakota
When: Friday Jan. 18th & Saturday Jan. 19th at 7pm
Where: Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, ND
Ice Sheet: 200×85
TV: FCS Central
Radio: UNDspots.com
All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads 34-2-1
Last Meeting: Dec. 9 - 3-1 Wisconsin win

Wisconsin puts it's 4 game winning streak overall and in the WCHA on the line as they travel to a place that hasn't really been that challenging for them, Ralph Engelstad Arena, and they'll look to keep some distance between themselves and the Buckeyes for 2nd place.

About the Sioux:

Record: 13-9-0 (9-0-0-0 WCHA)
Head Coach: Brian Idalski (156-60-82, 6th season at UND)
Notable: UND hasn't won a series against a WCHA foe since Nov. 24th against Minnesota-Duluth, but have managed to go 4-4-0 over that time, losing to Wisconsin and Minnesota in WCHA series' while beating RIT and Lindenwood outside of the conference.

Statistical Leaders:

Points: Jocelyne Lamourex, 40 points (23 goals, 17 assists)
Goals: Jocelyne Lamourex - 23 goals
Assists: Monique Lamourex - 24 assists
Save Pct.: Jordi Dagfinrud - .901
GAA: Jordi Dagfinrud - 2.20 GAA

About the Badgers:

Record: 14-6-2 (10-6-2-2 WCHA)
Head Coach: Mark Johnson (292-52-28, 10th season)
Notable: With two points this weekend Briana Decker will move into sole possession of 5th place on the all-time points list in Wisconsin history. 

Statistical Leaders:

Points: Brianna Decker - 36 points (21 goals, 15 assists)
Goals: Brianna Decker - 21 goals
Assists: Brianna Decker - 15 assists
Save Pct.: Alex Rigsby - .941
GAA: Alex Rigsby - 1.50 GAA

Quick Analysis:

Wisconsin has simply OWNED North Dakota over the years in the WCHA and expecting them to not continue that streak is asking a bit much. The Badgers have looked like they've figured out their roles and are playing a lot more confidently. It was impressive to see them come out from the break and do exactly what they needed to do to take control of their destiny in the WCHA and for an NCAA tournament birth by sweeping the Buckeyes this past weekend. 

They are currently on a 4 game winning streak with wins coming over a ranked (at the time) UND team as well as Ohio State this pas weekend. Wisconsin is now 5 points ahead of the Buckeyes for 2nd place and are 9 points ahead of UMD and 10 points ahead of UND. They are 14 points out of 1st place to a Minnesota team that is 22-0-0 on the year, so hard to be in contention with that.

Prediction: Friday - Wisconsin 4, North Dakota 1, Saturday - Wisconsin 5, North Dakota 2

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com